One of the features of anxiety is when you share something and deeply regret it.
Years later you find yourself dwelling on it in the middle of the night, the time you told someone your intimate secret and just wanted to snatch it back.
When you are usually the listener, as many introverts are, keeping your personal life to yourself becomes habit, and sharing feels uncomfortable.
When you add anxiety, that feeling sticks around, the negative thoughts won’t go away, you feel sick about someone knowing your inner self and want that feeling to stop.
Or maybe the secret was so deep it felt like you ripped off a band-aid and exposed a wound.
When this reaction occurs there’s a few things you can do:
Examine your thoughts, observe what is happening in your body and mind - fear, shame, embarrassment, self-doubt?
Ask why you are feeling this way - are you worried about what others think of you? Do you fear them sharing your personal story? Did you get an unexpected reaction from the listener?
Think how you would react if you were the one hearing the story and compare it to your beliefs about others and how they might react.
Don’t get caught up in the loop. After checking in as above, when thoughts and feelings arise again continue to notice and label them without re-analysing - “I’m having a reaction to sharing my story and it uncovered a wound.”
Remind yourself that you are safe and loved.
Go and do something healing - art works for me, you might also try walking, yoga, listening to music, gardening.
- Linda is an art therapist and social worker in private practice in the Southern Highlands, NSW and may be contacted for any mental health concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0438 400 446